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One thing that many dog owners will note is that dogs are generally fairly undiscerning about what they eat, insofar as they aren’t usually shy to chow down on anything they can get their paws on, and the more aromatic and possibly, horrible it seems to us, the better!
However, some dogs can be rather finicky about their tastes, and may even find their regular meals to be rather dull compared to snacks and detritus that they scavenge for themselves! If you don’t wish to change your dog’s food or otherwise significantly alter their nutritional intake, there are still a few ways in which you can add some flavour and interest to your dog’s regular meals by means of the addition of certain common herbs and spices that are safe for dogs!
Buying or growing fresh cut herbs is preferable to purchasing dried alternatives, but both pre-packed and home grown herbs and spices from the list below are suitable for your dog. Read on to learn more!
Delicate, fragrant rosemary can add a nice touch to your dog’s dinner when sprinkled over the food or mixed into the meat. Rosemary can help to boost your dog’s circulation, which can be helpful for older dogs that are becoming more sedentary, and it is also rich in iron, calcium and vitamin B6.
Rosemary also has antioxidant qualities, and can help to clear toxins from the body, as well as having a natural, light preservative effect on wet food.
Basil is a popular herb that can commonly be found accompanied by tomato, and is widely used as a garnish for pizza and pasta dishes. A few fresh basil leaves added to your dog’s food can help to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis in dogs, thanks to its naturally occurring beta-carophyllene, which can also help to make dogs with irritable bowel syndrome more comfortable too.
Basil is also reputed to have antimicrobial, antiviral and antioxidant qualities, so is a great pick to help a dog recovering from illness, or to give the immune system a boost.
Turmeric is a common spice used in foods like curries and Far Eastern foods, and it is also considered to have medicinal qualities in traditional Eastern medicine. The anti-inflammatory qualities of this spice can help to alleviate arthritic flare-ups, and it can also assist with wound healing, detoxifying the body, and helping to relieve the symptoms of upset stomachs and dietary sensitivities.
Echinacea is one of the most widely used herbs in alternative medicine and natural supplements for humans, and is reported to boost the immune system and help the body to fight off minor ills like coughs and colds. These effects can also be found in dogs, and it can also be a useful supplement for dogs that are prone to sensitive skin and irritations of the coat, which are a common problem in certain breeds of dog including the Bulldog and the Shar-Pei.
Ginger is made from the roots of the ginger plant, and has a very distinctive smell and taste to it that some dogs will love! You will only need to add a very small amount of ginger to your dog’s food, as a little goes a long way and too much can be rather overpowering!
Ginger is widely reputed to have a calmative effect on the stomach, and can help to soothe stress-related digestive problems and general minor bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow on your windowsill or in your garden, and it also comes in many different varieties! Mint is another herb that can help to settle the stomach and help with stress, as well as potentially helping to reduce nausea and flatulence in the dog as well!
It can also be a helpful additive to help dogs undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy with the sickness that often accompanies these types of treatments.
Parsley is one of those little green herbs that restaurants often use to top every savoury dish that goes out of their kitchens, and it is also good for counteracting the smell of garlic!
Parsley is rich in vitamins such as carotenes and lycopene, as well as antioxidants and flavonoid compounds. It can help to freshen your dog’s breath, and also potentially help to soothe upset stomachs. Take care when growing or buying parsley to choose true parsley; spring parsley, another variant that looks very similar to true parsley and that is part of the carrot family is actually toxic to dogs.
Coriander is a green, leafy herb that can again help to freshen the breath and cleanse the palate, as well as helping to balance the blood: sugar ratio, which may be helpful for small dogs that are very susceptible to imbalances, such as the Chihuahua. It also has antibiotic and antifungal properties as well!
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